Syrian refugee, Soleiman Hajj Soleiman, is standing trial for six counts of sexual assault and another six counts of sexual interference on six minor girls stemming from a spate of gropings and sexual assaults at Edmonton’s World Water Park wave pool early last year.
This morning in court began the seventh day of testimony, even though the trial was only scheduled for three days. The accused claims he requires full English to Arabic word for word translation despite being in the country for over two years.
Today, I’m the only reporter in court.
There are three people here to support the accused, one who’s reading a book because he’s lost all interest in the proceedings. These people aren't even pretending anymore.
In the morning, two Edmonton City police officers took the stand. The first to testify was also first on the scene, saying she initially encountered the male accused in a family co-ed change room after being advised by water park security that they had followed him there.
We also heard for the first time that the wife of the accused and several, if not all, of his six children were with him at the waterpark that day.
The officer also testified that she was able to interview the suspect in English and she had confirmed his full legal name from his Alberta driver's license.
The second officer testified that she did the initial interview with two of the child victims and said the girls were shaking and sobbing when she first met with them.
Both girls separately identified their attacker as a man with light brown skin, blue trunks, a “fat” beard, rainbow goggles, brown hair, 5’7” to 5’9”, with an average build and approximately 30 to 40 years old.
Two West Edmonton Mall Water Park security guards are expected to take the stand this afternoon.